High Fiber Foods

What first comes to mind when thinking of high fiber foods? For many it may be the taste and texture of cardboard, but in reality there are many foods that are high in fiber and off the charts wonderful in the taste department. If more people open their minds to the idea that adding fiber to their diet is about delicious food, not boring, dry food, the whole idea becomes – pardon the pun – easier to swallow.

Fiber Rich Foods

High Fiber FoodsFoods high in dietary fiber are easy to find and often some of the least expensive foods to buy. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes are some of the best highest fiber foods. When looking for the fiber content of foods, look for easy to prepare foods such as pasta and vegetables, which are often found near the top of the fiber rich list.

Some high fiber foods may be eaten raw or cooked, consumed alone or used in recipes. For the most part cooking does not alter the fiber content of the food.  Consuming fiber rich foods is not only good for the overall health of a person; it can be an excellent tool to use when dieting.  There are many low calorie, high fiber diet foods available.  Medium sized apples and bananas contain less than 100 calories each and have tons of fiber in them.

High Fiber Foods – For Healthy Living

A medium bran muffin is guilty of carrying a mere 140 calories. Add a side of fiber rich almonds to that muffin and breakfast is a delicious energy packed meal with nearly 9 grams of fiber and approximately 200 calories. If a person then consumed a large salad for lunch and their dinner consisted of two 1 cup servings of veggies, pasta, a small serving of chicken or fish and a small salad, one could easily reach the daily fiber amounts recommended for healthy living. Add a banana, orange, apple or cup of raspberries as an afternoon snack, to put the fiber content of food for the day well over the recommended daily allowances.

What is the Recommendation for Daily Fiber Consumption?

It is recommended that women should consume approximately 25 grams of fiber each day. Men need to be taking in 35 to 40 grams.  This is not really that difficult, yet many people do not get nearly enough dietary fiber in their diet. In fact, the average amount of fiber consumed by the U.S. population is a mere 15 grams.  Common fare with the highest fiber content is beans and legumes. These fiber rich foods really pack a punch. A serving of split pea soup contains more fiber in one serving than the average person eats in an entire day. Black beans and navy beans also deliver a walloping 15 grams per serving.

The chart below lists just a few of many delicious high fiber foods.

Food Serving Size Fiber in Grams
Split peas, cooked 1 cup 16.3
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 15.6
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15.0
Baked beans, cooked 1 cup 10.4
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 3.9
Almonds 1 ounce 3.5
Pistachio nuts 1 ounce 2.9
Raspberries 1 cup 8.0
Apple, with skin 1 medium 4.4
Banana 1 medium 3.1
Orange 1 medium 3.1
Raisins 2 tablespoons 1.0
Oatmeal, quick, regular or instant, cooked 1 cup 4.0
Popcorn, air-popped 3 cups 3.5
Bran muffin 1 medium 5.2
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 1 cup 6.2
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8.8
Broccoli, boiled 1 cup 5.1
Artichoke, cooked 1 medium 10.3
Sweet corn, cooked 1 cup 4.2
Potato, with skin, baked 1 medium 2.9
Carrot, raw 1 medium 1.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chart is merely an small example of foods that are available with a high fiber content. There are hundreds of other food choices and many delicious ways to add fiber to the diet.

High Fiber Foods – High Health Benefits

There are many health benefits when a person chooses to eat a diet rich in fiber, including:

  • Lowering the risk of diabetes
  • Helping to keep a healthy heart
  • May ease Celiac disease
  • Relieves constipation and diarrhea, making a person more regular
  • Lessens the frequency of experiencing heartburn and GERD
  • Tames irritable bowel syndrome
  • Helps eliminate ulcers

Small changes to a person’s daily habits by adding high fiber foods to one’s diet can mean a lifetime of healthy living.  These changes need to become a permanent part of that diet, however, which typically means – a lifestyle change.  When making lifestyle changes it is important to implement the new and different changes to the routine a little at a time. Adding large amounts of fiber to a diet that has become accustomed to digesting small amounts of fiber can cause the digestive system to overreact.  This in turn may cause stomach upset and bowel irritation.  Increasing the amount of dietary fiber by approximately five grams every few days over a period of a couple of weeks will go a long way in insuring a comfortable transition.

Adding exercise to the new fiber rich diet is also recommended. Even a short walk after meals will further aid in the digestion of the food eaten, and will help to stimulate the fiber as it moves through the bowel.

Planning menus and making changes to the shopping list are a couple of small ways to help ensure healthy, high fiber foods will end up in your shopping cart.  Spend more time in the produce section of the store and try some fruit or vegetable that are new to you at least weekly.  You may find that these new foods are more delicious and nutritious than you thought. And remember, making these small changes may just add years to your life.